World Cup Fever Ups My Man-Quotient
Posted by BroadBlogs
By Alexander Medvedenko
American men haven’t said a word about soccer all year. And now we are all obsessed with the World Cup. FIFA “experts” have come out of the woodwork and Facebook posts are filled with tournament analysis. Guys have a favorite team, know the stats, and wear team jerseys — even if the team is not in the Cup.
When the World Cup ends it’ll be 11 months before you hear the word “soccer” again in the States.
It seems guys are basically lying to each other, talking it up even though few are really into the sport.
I wonder because I don’t watch sports. They have never interested me and I’ve never understood why they matter to anyone.
Obviously, as a straight male, I am a heretic!
My friends are as confused as me. It’s a guy thing isn’t it?
I’m onboard with riding bikes and goofing off. I played soccer and basketball as a kid. I wasn’t the MVP, but I wasn’t a benchwarmer either. I even get the fascination with PLAYING sports. But watching sports?
The over-the-top emotions are insanity to me!
Who really cares if the Lakers make the playoffs? How could this POSSIBLY impact your life in any way?
Needless to say, I quickly learned not to spout such things in public. Nothing makes a guy stand out faster then saying, “The Oakland Niners.”
But I often wonder how much of the hype is real.
I think some guys are really into a sport, or a team. But I think plenty of guys are along for the ride, doing what you need to do to look “manly” — consciously or not.
The good news is that sports interest isn’t something people can see. It’s easy to pick up on what people are saying. Just throw out a comment and move on. Flying under the radar, I’m assumed to be part of the pack.
It’s easier to fake it than to argue.
My close friends know that I don’t like sports. But why do they? I never get a straight answer. It’s entertaining, thrilling, some guys are technical about it. “To each is own” they say.
But its not! A huge majority of men are obsessed.
How much is conditioned? I mean, all the influences to play sports, or get a glove for your birthday, or play catch with dad — or with other kids on the playground who are also just trying to fit in.
I think boys use sports to define their gender. Your dad and his buddies are yelling at the TV so you get the idea that sports is what males are about.
You can’t grow a beard, but you can collect baseball cards.
In this world you can’t just be genetically male, you must also act manly. If you don’t fit into the box, people get uncomfortable. And sports are on that list.
But some things, like World Cup fever, pull the curtain down from the façade.
This was written by one of my students who, for obvious reasons, asked to use a pen name.